Sunday, November 25, 2012

Junk Mail Christmas Card Upcycle

When  get the mail I try to open and dispose of everything right away.  Bills go in one spot to be paid, magazines go to the family room to be read, and junk mail should go directly into the recycle bin.  Every so often, something in the junk mail catches my eye and goes into the "crafty" pile.

A couple of days ago, we got a mailing from Consumer Reports - the typical "send a gift subscription" pitch that every magazine sends at this time of year.  Included in the envelope were two "postcards" to send to the recipient if you ordered a gift subscription.  I thought the image was very nice and decided to save the gift notice to make a card.

The first thing I did was to trim off the message at the top.  The remaining picture measured 3 1/2 x 5 7/8 inches and I trimmed it to 3 1/2 x 5 inches.  I trimmed different amounts from each side to keep the main parts of the picture intact (if I had trimmed it all from the right side the little red car would be cut off awkwardly, if it was trimmed all from the left side the house would be chopped off).

Since the 3 1/2 x 5 inch size was not proportional for an A2 card (normally the layer would be 3 3/4 x 5 inches) I set about finding a way to add a border to even things up.

I punched a scrap paper with this Martha Stewart border punch with a scalloped snowflake design.  The punch is called "Skylands Snowflake."

I liked the border effect but I needed to trim the image a bit more to make everything align properly.  I cut about 1/8 inch from the top and the bottom of the picture so it would center properly on a 4 x 5 1/4 inch mat layer (in dark blue here).

Once I had the sizes figured out, I decided to use some glittered cardstock for the border.  This is the Core Couture cardstock by Core'dinations.

I punched a section of the border on a scrap piece of the glitter cardstock.  Then I adhered it to the picture, centering the border design.

When I trimmed the straight sides the ends looked a little untidy.

I trimmed the edges so finish the curve of the border. 

I added some gems at the two ends to finish the cuts on the border and also added a few more with a slightly larger gem in the center.

I added Diamond Stickles to the rooftops, along a few of the land contours and on the snowman.  I left this photo dark so you could see the sparkle the Stickles create.

The blue mat layer is shimmer cardstock from The Paper Company.  The front and back are two shades of blue.  I had worked with the dark blue side right up until I was ready to assemble the card.  I flipped the mat over and found that the lighter blue was a better match for the colors in the picture.

The card base is white gemstone cardstock, also from Core'dinations.

Why not take a second look at some of your "trash" - there may be some crafting potential in the things you toss!  There were two of the gift post cards in my mail so I am adding one to the giveaway box for someone else to try an upcycle.

November Giveaway update...

Here are the updated contents of the box that one lucky reader will win at the end of the month.
in the box so far...

1.  2 sheets of the sticky paper I used for the glittered ornament card
2.  A new set of the same Inkadinkado Autumn Leaves stamps I used on the card
3.  An 18 inch piece of the brown leaf ribbon - enough for a few cards.
4.  A small bag of plastic gems like the ones I used on the crystal glass.
5.  Two pieces of the blue holographic paper I used for the fish on the wreath.
6.  A small piece of the white and silver mesh I used for the nets.
7.  The "gift subscription postcard" that you can use to make your own upcycled project.

All comments on posts in the month of November will be eligible for a random draw at the end of the month.  One lucky reader will receive the small priority mail box full of bits and pieces.

You can leave a comment on every post to increase your chances but please just leave one per post and make sure that you give me enough information so I can contact you if your comment is drawn.

The Thanksgiving Shopping weekend is drawing to an end - did you buy a little or a lot? (or nothing at all...)

New Craft Deals Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Blitsy!

Blitsy is celebrating their first anniversary and they have a huge assortment of  items on offer this week - some of them have been "blitsed" (sold out) but there are still a lot of bargains to be found.  You need to check back if something you wanted is marked "blitsed" because they sometimes add more items to a category and the item is then available to order again.

The deal for Sunday is a discount of up to 30% OFF all physical cartridges!

Don't forget about the Creative Memories "Stuff Your Stockings" sale - you can read all of the details in the post HERE.  The sale ends at 10 p.m. Central Time on Monday, November 26th (tomorrow).

Have a wonderful Sunday - there is talk that we may soon have snow here.  It is definitely much colder and windy - winter is arriving!

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  1. Great idea to use "junk" mail. It turned out really cute. I went out late Fri. morning for one thing. Crowds weren't bad, got what I wanted and came home. I did not think the sales were that great this year.

  2. Love your trash-to-treasure project! I guess I should start opening those envelopes instead of throwing them out sight unseen!

  3. As always, this is a wonderful idea for re-purposing! And I love your attention to detail with the punched border -certainly gives a professional finish to the card.

  4. Love the card...I love to recycle so I really appreciate you sharing this idea.

  5. That is a great card!! I sometimes find great things in my "junk" mail, once a magazine sent it inside a nice piece of snowflake vellum as a cover. I kept mine and had friends save me theirs too--LOL

  6. I always up cycle post cards, birthday & thank you cards from retailers. They often have embossed metallic details. Love what you did with yours!
    Karen L 1020 at gmail dot com

  7. I often will save something that catches my eye but then I forget where I put it....LOL

  8. I am always surprised to find something unrelated to card making that works so well. Cardmaking really puts my creativity to a test and I love it.

  9. Snow arrived here this morning. I like what you did with that postcard. I'm on the hunt now.

  10. Beautiful way to recycle! Thank you for the chance to win a wonderful prize,too. You always provide such wonderful inspiration! We went out on Saturday, and found some very good deals on the items we wanted. Most of the shopping is done! BethAnn M.

  11. Love the recycle. the.give away Looks like a box of treasures. Cant wait to see what someone comes up witn.

  12. I love your upcycled card! Awesome. I did not go out shopping at all. My list is small this year, and somehow I could not deal with that kind of crowd. :-)

  13. i do this too! I save birthday cards and like to upcycle those as well - I love your card!
    i shopped online on Friday! Safe and sound in my pj's

  14. Eeeeek! I haven't started Christmas shopping yet :(. I'll probably do some online tomorrow.

    I love your upcycled card - very clever! I save some junk mail stuff too once in a while.

  15. Beautiful card! Love that MS punch.

  16. What a great idea for a card. I have a pile of saved cards, now I have a use for them. Thanks!


  17. I have been away taking care of my parents who have both passed away now. I still have much to do with the estate and a daughter getting married so time will be limited for awhile.
    Love the upcycle card, probably still have mine here from last 2 years unless one of kids pitched them lol
    Looking forward to revisiting my scrap area soon. I have alot of catching up to do!

  18. No shopping this weekend busy with helping in-laws with the big T-Day dinner. Did work around their house inside and out.
    Love this card. I also try to upcycle whenever I can. Every Christmas many gift tags are made from bits and pieces of cards and tags from the previous years.

  19. Great job! I love recycling items around the house. Thank you for sharing your talents!

    rissaflor atyahoo dotcom

  20. I too enjoy the challenge of recycling or getting inspiration from things from other things I get or see. Your snow scene was so clever! Thanks for sharing with us. Happy crafting this month!


  21. what a great way to recycle. tfs.

  22. This is totally a fun way to upcycle! In fact, I spent yesterday experimenting with the Cuttlebug and various different cardboard boxes. Very fun! NOW I am off to shop!

  23. I, too, always look through my junk mail and try to think of ways to use it. Thanks for this great idea!

  24. Nicely upcycled! I sometimes keep the fronts of Christmas cards to upcycle. Though so many send picture cards these days I don't get as many as I used to.

  25. You have given me inspirtation to look at my junk mail in a whole new light. Love the Stickles snow. jlsateplusdotnet

  26. Your upcycled card is adorable. The stickles really make it pop!

    rosscdmr at aol dot com

  27. Ha! I thought I was the only one that did this with mail and... get this... old calendars!! I'm responsible at work for birthday cards for our volunteers and we have a bunch of old cards that I paste a nice calendar picture over to make it a lovely card! Great minds... and all that jazz!

    Kris in Alaska
    funamom at yahoo dot com

  28. Your card is adorable, I must look closer at the junk mail!surfnfroggie at aol dot com

  29. I received those same "gift cards" and immediately put them in my card possibility stash. You did a beautiful job on yours.
    papergardener4 at aol dot com.

  30. Thanks for the detail tutorial on this, I love all the details you've added to the card to make it look special. Very impressive!

  31. I love your junk mail card. I do that all the time. That's probably why I have so much "stuff" in my craft room. There are lots of treasures in the garbage can!

  32. I love that you are going "green" this Christmas. I too have used Christmas cards and junk mail sent to me in my scrapbooking. I love what you did.

  33. Wow, I never get junk mail like that. Of course I signed up to not receive junk mail so I may have done myself a disservice! Your card is so darned pretty!

  34. I am always amazed at how you can take something so plain and zing it up! I don't seem to think that far out of my box so please take that as a compliment! Maybe I'm just in too big of a hurry. :-) Thanks for sharing your creativity with all of us!!

    Jeannette B.


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